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51

When they can't tell me how. Sounds simple, but a wealth of detail is hidden in that simple question. When faced with an implausible action declaration, ask "How?". By asking, you're forcing your players to: Consider whether their action makes sense. Limit themselves to plausibility - if they can't even imagine a way that could work, then they won't be ...


43

Sigh, I think others are making this more complicated than it is and aren't answering the right question. Perhaps it will make more sense if you restate that brief blurb as: The players determine what their characters say, think, and do. The GM describes everything else in the world. You "say" what your character does, the GM "says" (aka determines) ...


39

No, there is no equivalent to a "skill check" in Dungeon World. Dungeon World operates on a different set of principles that don't require or really permit task-based resolution rolls. If you're playing DW, you have to give up the idea that everything requires a roll. The most important principle for this question is that dice are only rolled when a move ...


25

Don't forget that by drawing unwanted attention, it doesn't have to be attention from the monster they think they're fighting! He's invisible, right? Well, How about he draws unwanted attention in the form of ghosts or spirits? Or monsters that exist in the narrow space between planes where things that are invisible go? Your player chose to attract unwanted ...


24

First off, all of edgerunner's answers are great. But I wanted to add some Dungeon World specifics: Check p.19 and you'll see that 6- isn't "failure" - it's "trouble". The GM will say what happens and the player will mark XP. You are attaching non-DW simulationist ideas to DW mechanics by your supposition that 6- means "failure." These principles can apply ...


23

"To parley, you have to have leverage." For the Parley move to trigger you have to have something over the NPC or something the NPC wants. Dungeon World uses the term leverage to describe this: "Leverage is anything that could lure the target of your parley to do something for you. Maybe it's something they want or something they don't want you to do. ...


22

As you play, the players say what their characters say, think, and do when it's relevant or interesting to the story. A good exercise would be to imagine you are reading a book. On a book you usually knows when a character feels fear or anger, but their evil betrayal is kept until the finale. Normally, characters' thoughts are shared like in these examples: ...


22

First, stop railroading them when they don't do anything. You're here to make the world do stuff, not make the players or the PCs do stuff. Making their decisions for them just teaches them that it's not really important to make those decisions themselves, and that's the last lesson you want people new to roleplaying to take away from the experience. ...


22

Yes, but it's more work than you'd think You could keep levelling, but the game starts breaking down. You start running out of moves that you can take and you rarely ever fail rolls because your stats are all in the positive. The engine runs out of steam and the game starts to be boring. So you can, but you would have to start houseruling lots of bits of ...


21

Here are the traditional reason I would say no to my players and why I shouldn't in Dungeon World: Because doing so would ruin my plans In my head, this is physically impossible or there's not enough time etc. Because the action would cause sudden PvP combat Here's why I would be wrong to say no for those reasons in Dungeon World 1. Because doing so ...


19

Dungeon World is an odd beast. If looked at through the lens of existing D&D experience, it doesn't look like anything different, and lots of its differences seem stupid. To really appreciate what it does differently you have to spend some time immersing your brain in it. I'm a veteran, but I still keep learning new things about the game—it's like ...


17

This looks like a good spot to let them succeed with complications. Some ideas that come to mind are: He climbs the chain but drops his weapon in the progress The chain he climbed happened to be on the wrong side of the tower, so he must brave more of the tower's denizens to reach his goal. The chain also happens to ground the tower's lightning rod, and ...


17

Using Spout Lore to reveal a detailed, pre-created world is contrary to the rules. There is a caveat I should make here. I'm going to talk about rules the GM has to follow. You're welcome to not consider them binding rules, but DW as designed does. If you don't follow the GM rules, you're "voiding the warranty" on the game and it will not operate as ...


17

Dungeon World encourages GM improvisation, but does not discourage preparation Dungeon World discourages an on-the-rails style of campaign where the players are simply there to work through the GM's plot. In the GM section they are all about improvisation, and indeed to run Dungeon World you'll need to adapt to the decisions your players make as they move ...


15

To some extent, this is the pitfall of collaborative storytelling mechanics: when you have a lot of cooks, the pie can come out weird. There are a number of ways you can get around this, depending on the style/attitude of your group: Let It Ride. While this sounds exactly what you do not want to do here, I present this merely as one option among many. ...


15

Trying to do this old school (no programs, just statistics and probability 101), it won't be short, but should be very informative (I'll add a summery later on). To help making this more vivid, let's consider 3 characters: "Fumbles" - he is really unlucky or unskilled, so he gets a -5 modifier. "Average Joe" (or just "Joe") - no modifiers. "Rambo" - he is ...


14

Dungeon World is a narrative game, at it's core, that distinguishes itself from D&D in the way it tells stories. The innovations are in the core philosophies and mechanics. Let me address each of your points in turn: Moves as Powers Moves are NOT just powers. Many are closer to D&D's feats. Others have no mechanical effect at all. Some simply tell ...


14

Dungeon World isn't a combat simulator. I'd recommend thinking about the combat as though it were a movie script and framing each shot. That should help you think about the correct level of granularity. Are these beetles supposed to be a threat by themselves, or are the three collectively a threat? There are rules for combating multiple enemies. [I don't ...


13

Though @Tynam's answer is excellent, I did want to give an alternative answer. When they ask me, instead of showing me. When we first started playing Dungeon World, I had reservations about my ability not to plan, and one of my players brought up something that I was already doing in the context of Fate that made me feel better about it. Letting the ...


13

Nothing in Dungeon World is a straight conversion of D&D – everything is re-imagined. Even the base classes provided can't be used to convert a D&D character straight across (for example, in stock DW there's no way you can make a Dwarven Druid, while you can easily do so in D&D 3.x without creating a house rules). A straight conversion of new ...


13

Yes, you can get your animal companion killed. Nothing on your character sheet is permanent or "safe" (DW PDF version, p. 30): Advancement, like everything else in Dungeon World, is both prescriptive and descriptive. Prescriptive means that when a player changes their character sheet the character changes in the fiction. Descriptive means that when the ...


13

One thing you can do to make a big boss dangerous is just make normal Hack & Slash useless. Imagine they are fighting a storm giant or something the like, and they normal Hack & Slash, you can just say "ok, you are just chipping his toenails, that is not going to work." Force them to be creative: climb the giant (defy danger), try to out maneuver ...


13

You could make things mechanically more difficult by making custom moves, but I would not start there. Instead, narrate in the fiction greater consequences, via the GM's show an approaching/looming threat moves and follow up with hard moves, tougher monsters, and more damaging challenges. For a boss with giant sword, lead up to the fact that he's dangerous: ...


13

Apocalypse Engine is all about fictional positioning There are many ways that the players, the game mechanics, and the shared fiction of play interact with each other. Different systems and different groups emphasize some over others. Apocalypse World is built to emphasize "fictional positioning," which is when already-established elements of the shared ...


12

Make the game more narrative! Even though you have turns, don't forget that in a round of combat all actions are contemporaneous. (In some rule-sets the terms "turn" and "round" have their meaning swapped... by the way the idea is the same...) In a round robin approach you can just collect all players' actions in a turn of combat and just explain what ...


12

It's up to the GM to direct turns in combat by switching between characters, often by asking "What do you do?" The easiest question to use is "What do you do?" Whenever you make a move, end with "What do you do?" You don't even have to ask the person you made the move against. Take that chance to shift the focus elsewhere: "Rath's spell is torn apart ...


12

In Dungeon World, it's very important to get the carts and the horses in the right order, else it annoys the pig and the metaphors get horribly mixed. Moves come second, never first. If you find yourself looking at a move and asking yourself, "How do I make that work?" then you've got the cart in front of the horse and you need to start over. Always ...


12

When the text spells out an ability score, it means the score. When the text refers to the three-letter abbreviation, it means the modifier. HP uses the Constitution score plus a class-specific value. Dungeon World, page 17 Ability Scores and Modifiers Many of the rules discussed in this chapter rely on a player character’s abilities and their ...


12

It is only at the end of the session. From page 30 of the rulebook: Acting according to your alignment and fulfilling the conditions of your alignment moves will grant you XP at the end of each session And from page 78: If you fulfilled that alignment at least once this session, mark XP.


12

In practice, you stick to the moves and use the list, until you internalize it and no longer need to refer to the list, but even them you continue to use it. Just like when playing a Eurogame with a board, you do what the game says, exactly, if you want it to function as advertised. The GM's moves are multi-purpose. They: teach GMs new to RPGs how to GM ...



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